Ode to Another Nightingale.

Carrie Jones
1 min readAug 15, 2021

“My heart aches,” he says as if that will change her mind.

He quotes Keats, memorizes it the way others memorize song lyrics,

Drunk, but not on hemlock or an opiate. Drunk

One minute and the next.

Keats is not pretentious enough a poet to impress

Someone who sings with dryads and serves Dark and Stormies

Every night at the Whale. “Keats is bullshit,” she tells him. “All litanies of bullshit.

Have you ever heard a nightingale sing?”

It’s like beatboxing, machine guns, not some trembling, deep-voiced

Opera serenading you. It’s more like a car alarm telling you

Someone has come too close, someone is trying to get closer, someone . . .

The bird is named after men, of course, men who sing late into the night,

Men who pine with loneliness and drink with bitterness.

A nightingale gurgles. A man trills. They both whistle.

He doesn’t impress her with his heartache lines, his odes. “Fade far away,

Dissolve, and quite forget,” she tells him. And after another drink, he does.



Carrie Jones

Internationally & New York Times bestselling novelist. Writing tips. Podcasts. Poems. Psych stuff. www.carriejonesbooks.blog